Web Exclusives - Fiction

Sindhu Rajasekaran | Fiction


AND I NEVER thought this day would come, but here I am, sitting in front of the ritual fire, repeating Sanskrit mantras I don’t understand. He’s looking at me now, and I can feel it on my skin. We are getting married. Damini is locked away somewhere in a room, Lakshmi’s at Lord Krishna’s feet in the heavens, and I’m going to be his wife.

Gus tf Sakai | Fiction


This is my biggest chance. The words seemed to make every cell in Dani’s brain seize up. Trembling all over, he followed the shopkeeper upstairs. The stairs were of solid boards, old ones which made an odd squeaking sound when stepped on. On the top floor in the gloom he was greeted by the sight of a doorway into an ancient burial cave, the staring eyes of tau-tau effigies looking like they were soaring upwards towards death. 


Abidah El Khalieqy | Fiction


When my mother died, her face changed. I was the first to notice. When other family members and friends came to pay their respects, what I saw in their eyes was doubt; none could believe that the deceased was my mother. Even my brother, who hadn’t seen my mother alive for three years, as soon as he saw the corpse, straightaway announced that the deceased was our aunt, the youngest girl in my mother’s family. The doctors and nurses who had cared for Mother when she was in the hospital were also surprised; no one could believe their eyes. 


Erika Banerji | Fiction


It was darker now and pouring with rain, and the first heads of her black tulips bent as if in mourning. Her mother had warned her against planting tulips. They were weak and unaccustomed to wet weather. After her mother died Edith made sure she filled her borders with tulip bulbs.


Zach MacDonald | Fiction



This story has a happy ending, but first Ye-lim must crawl on her belly through a swamp of icy mud. The mud is viscous and sucking, calling her to join the grave of those who came to this place before her. There are bones: a femur here, shards of what may be skull there. Human or animal, she can’t tell about the skull shards. She finds a tooth, its enamel yellowed like an old corn kernel, embedded in the muck that squelches between her raw fingers. It reminds her of the teeth on the man – a soldier – who shattered her father’s body...


Twan Eng Tan | Fiction


IT WAS RAINING on the morning I was scheduled to die, a deluge that had begun in the late watches of the night. I had not slept, having spent the night thinking of the last time I had seen my father, six months before. I heard the rain riding in on the winds of the South China Sea, the sheaves of water thrashing across the rutted runway, hitting the rattan walls and the thatched roofs of the pilots' billets, so different from the gentle summer rains of my homeland.


Letyar Tun | Fiction


The ceiling fans whirred a slow rhythm. Mould crept into the corners of the whitewashed walls; the wide windows looked out onto the barren prison yard. Nyo Maung was marched up to a low, wooden dock flanked by two long tables. His feet scraping across the broken floor tiles echoed angrily through the colonial hall. Before the Burma Socialist Programme Party emblem sat three court martial judges – two majors and a colonel – neat and robotic in their crisp green uniforms, with pomaded hair, wire-rimmed glasses and gold stars on their shoulders. Nyo Maung knew obedience had raised them in the ranks to where they could sentence any soldier to death.


Yijun Luo | Fiction


Now I’m going to tell you a story about women and love, said Tunick. Or rather, it’s a story about the dark side of love: fickleness, jealousy, and fury. You shall witness many evil deeds committed in the name of love. It’s a story that unleashes your most perverted fantasies, in which you torture your ex-lovers out of guilt and feigned anger, ruin them with rumours, kill them with a borrowed knife, wipe out every single relative of your love-rivals, fornicate with your neighbour’s wife and daughter, kill your best pal and screw his voluptuous wife...


Sebastian Sim | Fiction


There were three things Gimme Lao did not know about himself.

The first occurred at his point of birth. The second happened way before he was born. And the third repeated itself many times over his life. Strictly speaking, the third was not about him. It was about the pivotal impact he had on other people, which he never found out about.

Take, for example, Yik Fan. Gimme Lao and Yik Fan went to the same primary school. Being two years apart, they were not in the same class, nor did they end up in the same extracurricular sports team. As far as he was concerned, Gimme Lao never knew Yik Fan existed.

Yik Fan, on the other hand, would never forget Gimme Lao. More...

RK Biswas | Fiction


The tiger lay sprawled upon a stone girdle that ran around the pipal tree’s trunk. He was a picture of elegance in his fashionably striped suit. His furry little member peeping out from between his thighs and the soft curve of his belly gave him just that little touch of helplessness, so attractive in all things male.

Cheng Yong | Fiction


Li Mingqin would lean on his balcony railing and smoke a cigarette before going back to bed with a good book. He had lately been skimming through The Story of the Stone, and, although he wasn’t terribly interested in the teenagers or their whims, he was fascinated by the descriptions of the house interiors, and had practically off by heart the passage where Lin Daiyu arrives at the Rong-Guo Mansion.

Eliza Vitri Handayani | Fiction


This time she burst into his world with her half-page profile in a Sunday newspaper in a section dedicated to emerging artists.

Michael Vatikiotis | Fiction


Dr Ren had never seen the real thing before. He’d read about it, of course. He’d seen pictures. He knew the penalties, like everyone else.

Justin Hill | Fiction


Then the cool north wind blew. Meili stood on the top of Victoria Peak and looked across the bay to the distant mountains behind Kowloon. She imagined she could smell Hunan again...

Suzanne Kamata | Fiction


ON THE FIRST DAY of spring Keita Hosokawa fell in love with a bird. If anyone had told him a week before that that would happen, he wouldn’t have believed it. He was fed up with birds. Specifically crows. More...

Kyung-sook Shin | Fiction


By the time I was in my thirties, I was fated to die, said the murderer, now in his forties. He spoke again. Murder is my profession. My side-job is to pose as a policeman, then extort from people. I murder only if it pleases me.


Phoebe Tsang | Fiction


For three years, Tulene has had the bathroom to himself. Still, he keeps a milk crate stocked with the essentials just inside his front door, for easy access. If Old Chow were to find Tulene’s toothpaste beside the bathroom sink, or his towel hung on the bent nail poking from the back of the door, he might demand more rent.

Dipika Mukherjee | Fiction


Tea splashed from the cup half-raised to her lips, smudging the newsprint. Sheena couldn’t believe it but there it was, a half-page matrimonial advertisement with the title: Indian Billionaire Needs A Wife: Are you the ONE I am looking for?

Ann Tashi Slater | Fiction


The sun burns through the mist, vultures circling and then settling in the dead trees. The golden roofs of a monastery rise like a mirage against the snow-flocked Dharamsala mountains.

Amanda Lee Koe | Fiction


Amanda Lee Koe presents the subtle and moving story of Arlene and Nelly, from Ministry of Moral Panic, winner of the 2014 Singapore Literature Prize (English Fiction).

'It wasn’t always this good, and Arlene never lets herself forget that. This is why she hasn’t gone to the doctor’s yet, despite the burgeoning lump in between the end of her armpit and the beginning of her breast, on her left side.'      More.....

Melody Kemp | Fiction


Miss Noy Khouvangsa was Lao’s first cyborgweaver.

She was made of silk. Her body tissues, corneas, and hair were constructed from the exudate of the remarkably industrious silk worm.

Melody Kemp | Fiction


The air turned chilly as the sun sighed into the nearby hills. It picked up the smells of dust, mixed with metallic and acrid dung flavours.

Ms Phaeng watched, holding her breath as the last sliver of red fell out of sight.  Casting a quick mantra to the spirits of nature, she swallowed a glass of lao lao to start the evening.

GB Prabhat | Fiction


The moment he returned from the office, Ananth quarrelled with his wife.

Sheela had reserved a table for eight o’clock that evening and it was already seven. Ananth could tell that she had been pacing the corridor.

Bashir Sakhawarz | Fiction


When a bomb lands in Talwar Khan's Afghan village and fails to explode, his rival attempts to deal with it.